Sunrise Radio Crisis: Industry speaks

Raj Baddhan

Senior Editor

Sunrise Radio 1, 2 and 3
Sunrise Radio goes into administration

With Sunrise Radio’s administration surprising many in the industry, some were less shocked by the news. BizAsia brings an industry’s perspective on what looks like is the end of an era.

We would like to add that every effort was made to obtain comments from various executives of the UK Asian media industry but they were reluctant to give any official statement.

Javed Husain, Chief Growth Director, Media Reach
It sad to see an iconic Asian media brand in this space. Media needs to innovate, as all brands and organisation to adapt to the changing time and audience. It stems from bad management decisions going outside the speciality and expertise.

The writing was on the wall when they launched the TV media and then started diversifying in foods. We could not see any innovation at Sunrise, and that meant the reduction in share and advertising revenue. In general Radio revenue has fallen 5.7% as compared to (Q1/2/3 2012). Those stations who have innovated have seen increase listenership and revenue.

The new owners of the licensee needs to innovate or the audience will migrate to other medium or other digital stations.

Ray C, Director, Asian Star
The change has already taken place in the Asian radio industry prior to the news of this administration, this as I see it is as a result of the market place being flooded with local radio services up and down the country which are working at grass roots level. Advertisers and listeners penetrating local communities with more of what they want to hear and rates for businesses more of what they can afford which has led to their (local radio) success and possibly the demise of larger services.

Local services tend to focus on smaller pockets of areas up and down the country and businesses feel their marketing plans are seeing better returns from them as well as local radio being able to offer a personal touch customers as opposed to investing substantial amounts into larger services which do not offer the same.

Surjit Ghuman, Managing Director, Panjab Radio
This is sad time for the UK’s Asian media industry with cuts in advertising budgets and lack of local advertising. This will shake up the market in London, Sunrise Radio has had too much of a monopoly and with this news, fresher and more competitive stations will emerge.

Pedro Carvalho, FNIK
It’s now about time that Ofcom pulled its socks up! The BBC Asian Network should be given one of the frequencies that Sunrise have lost and key community stations such as Nusound or Asian Star should be given first bite at trying to purchase the licence’s or even Panjab Radio!

I feel sorry for the staff and advertisers, sad day for many in radio but I’m not entirely surprised.

Tony Patti, Ex-Sunrise Radio Operations Manager
Well it saddens me to see an empire like that which I have contributed in building up going into administration and the public lose what they are passionate about, however Avtar Lit is a good businessman who I’m sure will be able to ride the storm. I have many fond and and many sad memories of being there as you know and wish them well as I do to all anyway. The UK radio industry does need stations like Sunrise as I think certain radio stations are not truly representative of the Asian community as they claim to be. Best wishes to all!

Mukesh Gadhvi, Director, Fantasia Advertising
We are sad to hear that the Sunrise Radio companies have gone into administration. Over the years Sunrise Radio has been a very important media for our clients to promote their products and services on. The station has proved very popular with Asian listeners in London. Sunrise has always accommodated us with interviews and promotions for various advertising campaigns.

Fantasia Advertising hopes that administrators will continue this valued radio station in manner that the Asian community in London have become used to, as it is a very important media for both listeners and advertisers.

It was confirmed on Monday, Grant Thornton UK LLP has been appointed administrators of the stations including Sunrise Radio 1 (1458AM), Sunrise Radio (1035AM), Time FM and a number of other services. Sunrise Radio 2 (Buzz Asia Limited) is the only service not affected.